Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 60 something: Big Thoughts from a Little Nugget

So this is the second listing in my two part series of balance. Last week I wrote about needing to take two days off as rest days when I realized I couldn't lift 65 lbs. over my head because I was mentally and physically exhausted. 

The entire time I was taking a break I knew it was the right thing to do because I came back to CF on Monday and have been feeling great. Yet, my friend Nugget wrote something from a different perspective. She writes about finding motivation necessary to do SOMETHING (and by this we don't emphasize crossfit - but SOMETHING) during the Holiday Season.

Hope you all enjoy - particularly the blog lurkers (yes, I'm talking about you) =)

The holidays are trying on everyone... There isn't a day in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas that I don't wake up and want to hit snooze and roll back over and go back to sleep- a duvet is probably the most damaging invention ever on a side note.
One of the things I've noticed recently, and have been called out on before, is using my exhaustion and tiredness as an excuse for my laziness. Now before we go any further, let me give you a glimpse of my last 3 months... I DON'T SLEEP! It doesn't matter what time I go to bed or what time I wake up, it doesn't matter if the room is dark or bright, silent or eardrum bleeding loud, dirty or clean, I haven't slept more than 4-5 hours in a row in 3 months and trust me that will make you a little bit crazy... and by a little bit I mean to say REALLY CRAZY
I used to be able to go home and put on a pair of baggy sweats and just crash into bed for 12 hours occationally and feel okay or just mope and feel bad about myself, however, not anymore. One of the great/awful things (depending on your attitude) is the accountability of Crossfit. If I'm not there for a few days, I get calls and emails and texts asking where I am and to get my ass into the gym. It doesn't matter if I'm tired, I'm always tired and its nothing more than an excuse... everyone in our gym is tired, we're all adults and we all work hard...  other people have kids and familys to manage which I cannot even fathom and in addition it's also what happens when you clean and jerk your body weight or deadlift more than you ever imagined or do 100 pull ups in a day, you're exhausted and miserable... but happy thanks to endorphins (your body's natural crack-cocaine).
Please don't look at me and say well exhaustion means take a break- well yes take a break and recover but if your break or your rest day turns into a rest 2-3 days, it's easy to turn into a rest week or a rest month. As someone who had pnemonia last year and took a rest month, coming back is basically starting all over again and you dread it- It's really easy to get into the "Oh I'll go tomorrow" mentality and never step into a gym again. On that same note, It's the same with paleo and cheat meals... If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll probably want milk, a party, cake and other goodies and then will end up doing keg stands and dancing drunk on tables... its never a good ending.
So what does this mean? I've contradicted myself 3 or 4 times here but it means listen to your body. If you're truly exhausted go home and sleep... don't go watch a sex in the city marathon and eat 2 pounds of break and bake cookies, go sleep and allow your body to recover. If you're not going to do that, get your butt up and get going. You don't have to do Crossfit but at least go do SOMETHING****. Don't let little things become big excuses.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 59: Rest Days - Do you take them? How do you know when you need them?

This is the start of a three part series on balance. My favorite little nugget has written the second part but I'm writing the first in a spirit of openness and honesty (maybe some of you have felt this way - maybe some of you haven't).

I am an internal stressor. Period. This means that often my stress just continues to build until it gets taken out on my body. In high school I used to stress out so badly (prepare yourself this is disgusting) that I would have a mouth FULL of canker sores. . .NOT adding to my kiss ability as a high school girl either =)

Currently, being in a Ph.D. program I am quite familiar and accepting of stress, I've learned to deal, and that frankly stress is just part of my life. I also don't let it rule my life. But the last few weeks have been quite overwhelming with school stuff, dissertation stuff, teaching stuff, etc. Yesterday I went to CF and could barely row during the warm up. . mentally I wasn't there - I was thinking about all the other things I had to do and I just couldn't turn it off. Physically I felt pretty drained (all week actually) BUT I didn't want to seem like a lazy ass, and I didn't want to seem like I was letting my stress dictate my activities. So I ended up doin' a very half assed version of the workout but I just couldn't pull it together. Running felt like I was dragging around two ton bricks on my legs and I could barely push press 65 lbs over my head (which for me is silly - often times I'll pick up 65 lbs and wonder if I have the right weight on the bar because it seems so light)

Needless to say it was ridiculous and pitiful. I went home - feeling even worse since I 'failed' during that wod and started to wonder if maybe I needed a few days off.  Then I went into all the crazy negative talk
"Why do I need rest days - I take Wednesday and Sundays off"
"It's not like I'm doing anything abnormal in the gym - in fact, most days I come in towards the end of the pack in the workouts"
"Why do I need an extra rest - what's my problem, suck it up"
"I'm never going to lose this weight if I do this sort of thing"

But then I started to think that MAYBE I do need a rest - and what's it going to hurt if I take two mental and physical rest days. . .walk my dog, stretch, etc.

And that's what I plan to do.

 Normally I workout Friday and Saturday. Well this week I'm taking Friday (today) and tomorrow off. I'm going to walk my dog extra, stretch a whole bunch and just gear up for the next week (my last week of classes EVER btw). =)

But most importantly, I'm NOT going to allow myself to wear myself down because of my negative crazy self talk. . .if crossfit has taught me anything, it's taught me that THAT is a waste of time =)

So folks. . .what about you? Do you ever feel that your body and mind need a break? Do you take one? What do you do if you take one?

Hugs - THROUGH the interwebs (muhahaha - I can't help myself)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why I Crossfit: From a small Nugget at Crossfit Peachtree

I couldn't say anything better than what a certain small nugget has written below. For those of you who currently are at CFPT this serves as a reminder that we have an unbelievable gym family. For those of you who currently work out somewhere else - I hope your gym is doing all of these things and more =)

Thanksgiving is an unbelievable time. Christmas has been been my
favorite holiday as long as I can remember but I have a new, new
appreciation for thanksgiving. The amazing thing is that after such a
difficult year, thanksgiving has a new place in my heart. I lost a lot
this year, an amazing friend who I will always hold next to my heart
and carry with me, my grandmother, an amazingly strong woman and a
super strong role model for my life, and my job (which is actually a
good thing in the end), but in spite of all of that I have so much to
be thankful for- An amazing family, a boyfriend who makes me want to
be a better person everyday, a great group of friends, finally a job I
love, and a second family.

I joined Crossfit Peachtree in January and never expected it to become
what it has in my life, I thought a gym was a gym and it didn't matter
whether the people were nice, you went there to work out and to be
done- I didn't know that CFPT would be my new community and a second
family to me. Walking into Crossfit Peachtree everyday is probably one
of the highlights and I actually feel like myself more inside of the
walls then a lot of other places.

When I try to explain CFPT to people they look at me like I'm crazy,
they don't understand why a 4 foot 11 girl wants to clean and jerk her
body weight or why everything is in class form or why I hang out with
gym people so much but it's because they've never truly experienced
it- the gym has truly become a support system, a great community. I
love when I'm struggling with a WOD and I hear someone in the class
cheer me on, not just a trainer but someone pushing themselves right
next to me!

So here is my advice to you- tell the people who make your life
better, tell them thank you for everything ... I want to say thank you
to Ray and B for creating and nurturing and growing such a great
community and to the amazing people at CFPT who support me, push me,
and encourage me in spite of myself.

Now, to go undo all my good paleo and eat a pound of Mac n' cheese and
pumpkin cupcakes with honey cinnamon cream cheese icing.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 50 something: Thanksgiving food plan, a recipe and LA Fitness WOD =)

Hi peeps - It's been a while. . .but you'll be happy to hear I've been staying strict and have completely adjusted. I even enjoy drinking black coffee every day!! (this took a good 45 days). I don't really even crave the bad stuff (well not ALL of the bad stuff - lol). I am learning that when I'm hungry I should eat. . .and when I'm full I shouldn't. . .but more often than not I find that I need to eat a lot more frequently in order to stay full!

I wanted to first post that I made a DELICIOUS recipe - courtesy of (if you haven't been to their website you should, I mean their goal is to make paleo food that doesn't taste like dog food so that's already something to get excited about). I amended their website by adding more raisins and I put the pecans in the batter with some hazelnuts because I didn't make the icing (no dairy for me).

They are DELICIOUS and I hope it's a reminder that you can stay paleo (if you so choose) over Thanksgiving.

I'm headed to my boyfriend's house for Thanksgiving and am bring the above delicious treats, roasted cauliflower (one of my favorites and super cheap) as well as steamed broccoli (the one vegetable the bf eats - I know, I know!).

That way I figure I can have some turkey, veggies and the treats I made. I'm actually excited to stay strict during Thanksgiving.  I decided to stay strict (again this is what works for me) because let's face it, there will be another Thanksgiving! =)

So that's my food plan - and while my gym is closed on Thursday and Friday I have a Thursday LA Fitness WOD planned (primarily to scare people) =)

Deadlifts (#185)
Push ups

Friday I plan to put on the sneakers and get in a good run as the weather is really fantastic for running right now.

Hope you all have a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for each and every one of you - especially those who silently read the blog =) You encourage me to keep going and keep striving for something better


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 44: The Kindness of Crossfitters - THANK YOU!

Yes, I know it's a nutrition blog but I had to write this blog post because I've been really thinking about how much of a difference it makes to have individuals in my corner who get it. Eating strict paleo IS a life style change, it has not only changed my mentality about food but also makes me sound (as my boyfriend described) like Jehovah Witness who just found Jesus lol

I know I keep rehashing this point but I'm encouraging you folks to go find a gym that is right for you. There are two things that have happened in the last week have really stayed with me

1. I did a makeup workout on Thursday which was 30 minutes of HELL (the McGhee workout). Seriously my body hasn't been the same sense doing that and it was insane.

Afterwards I laid on the ground for a while and when I looked up a guy who had just finished his own workout was putting away my weights.

2. During that same workout I was struggling to get through each round when someone came over - picked up the stop watch and coached me through the rest of the workout. Telling me I could do it and encouraging me the whole time

Yesterday was another example of this! A group of us went out to support some amazing athletes from my gym at Garage Games.

 It is such an AWESOME thing to watch these athletes compete and see women with muscles, women who are not spending 2 hours a day running on the treadmill compete (but that's for a future blog post). They are strong and our girls and guys from CFPT were so inspiring yesterday.

So I leave you with this - I hope wherever you are working out and whatever you are doing that you find a gym like mine. A place where you'll be supported, where you can cheer someone on and get all of the encouragement you need to accomplish your goals!

Next topic: Staying Strict Through the Holidays =)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 30 something: Scale SMASH 2010

Hi world: As many of you know I am in my second half of my own nutrition challenge. The first 30 days was started by a competition at my gym and post body fat test results I had a MAssiVE cheat meal. Now I'm on the next 30 days.

Above is a picture of an event we held at Crossfit Peachtree this past Friday - SCALE SMASHING!

I'm not sure if any of you were/are scale obsessed but I'll tell you, the scale can literally make or break your day. I used to weigh myself four times every morning (four times) and I would calculate (again Type A personality coming out) the average between those weights.

For so long  the number on the scale would determine how I felt. So for example, during the nutrition challenge I would get on the scale and when it first dropped 5 lbs in a week I was ecstatic and than as the number went back up I felt despondent. I could NOT understand how it was possible. I told myself that after the competition ended if I had only lost two pounds I would just give up on my goal of size 10 and move on. In many ways I told myself that it was just not possible and I was destined to be at this size. . .despite. I told myself it was okay to just settle into average because it was obvious that nothing was working.

But of course (see last post) the scale hadn't told me anything. It hadn't told me that I gained a bunch of muscle or lost a ton of fat - IN THIRTY dAYs. . .It didn't tell me that I lost 2.8% of my body fat in 30 days and it wouldn't. It was THAT day that I decided the scale MUST go. . .and so on Friday, my gym family and I - we killed that scale

Crossfit style - with a sledge hammer =)

I wanted to urge each and every one of you - to find a place where you have support. As I told one of my friends (who is considering trying crossfit) 95% of the folks you come into contact with on a daily basis are not living a healthy lifestyle, so you have to find somewhere where folks can support you.

Thats what its about. . .I have a group of women and men at Crossfit that support me in my goals, whatever those are - and who when given the opportunity to use a sledgehammer, will get just as excited as I was!!! I hope for each and every one of you you find a gym like that - and if you haven't. . .fb me and give it a try

PS. . .If you have never taken a sledge hammer to something - you should. . .it feels AMAZING!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 34: F*** the MF'ing SCALE

Okay, for those of you that don't know me that well I have to apologize for the curse words in the subject. . .but when I get hostile I only say the f bomb. It's strange, but there seem to be no other words that describe my hostility.

So the head lady in charge at our Crossfit gym has asked us to write our thoughts down. . .what was hard. . .what was easy? And I'm ready!!

First of all, in 31 days (my last body fat test was on 10/2 and my most recent one was yesterday on 11/2) I lost


SEVEN pounds and gained FOUR lbs of muscle. . ..I know . . .I'm still smiling

When the body fat man told me I cried and we fist bumped. . .he said he hadn't seen results like that in a LONG time in 30 days! In ten minutes those body fat results have changed my life. . .(dramatic yes but VERY true). So here goes

What the Future Looks Like

1. I am sticking with strict paleo. Black coffee and all. I can NOT believe that I was able to accomplish that kind of weight loss and muscle gain in thirty days

2. I did NOT measure ANY FOOD. At first I started off thinking I had to do zone/paleo in order to lose weight but as time went on it was harder to do so I just stopped. I thought about it as an experiment to see how my body responded to eating without measuring.

Now for some of you this is no big deal but because I lost the majority of my weight on weight watchers I thought and believed (until yesterday) that I would ALWAYS have to measure my food to see weight loss. BOY was I wrong

3. I am going to do blow out cheat meals once every 30 days. My next one will be at the CFPT social where I will consume large quantities of alcohol.

Last night I had (and no I'm not ashamed to say it) chicken fingers, tator tots, 1/2 a beer and a slice of red velvet cheesecake. And the fat girl in me - loved every moment of it

4. I will remain strict. Meaning my idea and philosophy on cheats has totally changed. Once a week I'm going to have something that is paleo but not necessarily an ideal food - like baked sweet potato fries I make at home or flax seed crackers. Again, things I can make at home that are nutritionally good for me but shouldn't be regular occurences.

Again, a lightbulb moment for me was redefining what a cheat is.

Lessons Learned
1. I wasn't disciplined before. I'd have greek yogurt every other day, some honey, and a diet coke on a regular basis. Those things are NOT paleo. Period. End of story. Those things are not cheats, they just are doing a very amended version of Paleo that is not going to result in results. Period

I didn't believe that before.

I couldn't understand how those things that were seemingly 'healthy' could really be allowing the weight to hang on to my body. Boy was I wrong

2. The scale is a mutherf'ing LIAR.  . .During this challenge (about week two or three) I got REALLY discouraged. Although the scale had moved about 5 lbs in the first week in week two or three it went back up a few pounds.

I was FRUSTRATED. I allowed myself and my mood about the challenge to be dictated by that stupid f'ing scale.Well no more scale - NO MORE. You will never dictate my mood or short change my progress in the gym.

You will NEVER tell me what % of my body is muscle and what % is fat. If I relied on you I would think this challenge was a bust and that I had only lost 2 pounds.

So for that scale - you MUST DIE. . ..(On Friday we will be holding a scale sledgehammer smashing at my Crossfit - ALL ARE WELCOME) =)

3. Diet Coke is a helluva drug (please see Dave Chappelle's impersonation of Rick James if you have no idea what I'm talking about). I learned form one of my super smart friends (shout out to my almost doctor friend CJ) that even though diet coke has no calories, the way you're body treats the fake sugar is the same way it treats real sugar. . .so it prepares itself like it's going to eat sugar, stopping fat burning, and still spiking your insulin.

This was a WAKEUP call for me. by Diet Coke -we'll see each other in heaven (with the starbucks, tator tot restaurant and frosting bar)! That's right - frosting bar

4. You have to find what works for you. Lisa Bond at Crossfit (who has started a womans only bootcamp - told me after reading one of my blog posts that you have to find what works for you and experiment.

I think I was feeling like shit for some time because I wasn't eating enough. So I started mixing it up and my energy shot through the roof.

5. You can travel and do Paleo
-Period. No excuses

So here's what has worked for me (I completely acknowledge that this won't work for everyone but I wanted to share some things that have helped a TON)

1. I cook large quantities of food once, maybe twice a week.
-Pick whatever day you have time and cook everything. . .breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week.
-It not only saves time during the week but the thought and obsessing over food and what we're going to eat that most of us do is gone

2. Switch it up! What Lisa told me was so right on. I got crazy and started to think. What if I'm not eating enough? Why not add a serving of nuts a day? Why am I still scared of fat? Why am I only eating this or that? Why not incorporate some more of this or that and see what happens?

It's about experimenting and figuring out what works

3. Take your scale and put it in the dumpster. That crap is ridiculous. (Yes, Rachel May that means you)!

4. If you're really interested in getting your body fat tested and knowing some real answers about your body visit Bali.

Because who doesn't want to fist bump with Bali? =)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 32: Reflections from a friend

Hi World!

In a few days (post visit by the fat tank) I'll be writing my reflections and summaries about this Paleo Challenge but I wanted to share something that was written by a good, small friend of mine I like to call Nugget =)

I especially think her last paragraph is BRILLIANT. . .Who ARE we really competing against?

Overall Metric Results- Down 5 pounds (a lot more tone in the belly area and a skinnier face and arms), my original body fat percentage 23.1%. I can't do the dunk tank this week but I was at 119 pounds October 2nd.
What that 5 pounds doesn't tell you, Pull ups are so much better, I was able to do 13 minutes in a pull up ladder without a hitch and the WOD last week with HDPU and Pullups was my favorite in a while. I hit my clean and jerk PR at 100 Pounds, hoping to be at 105 very soon, I got my Deadlift max at 175 (up 30 pounds from June), I don't want to puke nearly as much which I feel like is a huge step, and even though I hate running with a passion, I did a big race I didn't train for and actually kind of enjoyed it and did great speed wise.
HOWEVER, I spent most of the paleo challenge back and forth between feeling awesome and feeling shitty. I'd have about 2-3 days of awesome no set backs and 1-2 days of feeling like a dumpster rolled over my head (and the rest of my body) - My outside of the gym goal- sleep 6 hours a night. I did pretty well on this except for the last week (which I bombed like every other part of the challenge for the last week but I'll explain more later). It was amazing how much more energy you have with 1 hour extra sleep. I was a lot less sore, my WODs improved, and I continued to gain muscle AND lose weight... who knew... everyone besides me but still you get the drift.
Where I failed - I was pretty strict for the first 3 1/2 weeks (Except the occational tablespoon of ranch and/or buffalo sauce to help me actually eat my long lost nemesis, vegetables) the last week though I failed... I started the race determined to stay strict paleo, water, bananas, and almonds for me (beef jerky to help too) but as the race went on I started adding things back to compensate for the cramping- Gatorade was first, then peanut butter on my banana, then one piece of bread with Peanut butter and Jelly, then all down hill from there concluding the weekend with beer and bourbon. After that it was hard to get back on track- the last week I was at 70% good 30% bad until Halloween when again the shit hit the fan.
I think the hardest thing for me was realizing that one diet won't work for everyone. That first week, we had an email chain going on (Katy, Jaclyn, Lindsey, John, Chelsey etc.) and everyone else was doing awesome, everyone felt great and I felt like crap! I honestly did cry 2 or 3 times that first week, the detox was miserable and having caffine headaches turned me into kind of a bitch (I apologize for any bistanders to that). I missed dairy a lot and although I ate a ton of fruit, I still missed some of the "sugary" style food. I think from now on, a combination of primal and zone will be the best fit for me. I'm happy with my body (happier than I've been in a long long time) and energetic for the most part.
As for the main lesson: CROSSFIT IS NOT A COMPETITION! It's a lifestyle. I wanted paleo to be a competition to help kick my ass into shape, but hey guess what, its not, its a revolution, it's a way to rock your world and at the end of the day, you're the only person who you're competing against... you're the person you have to look at in the mirror, you're the person who gets in the dunk tank, you're the person who has to push yourself, no one else can do it for you. Its nice to have people for encouragement but at the end of the day, it's you and only you... NO ONE and I mean NO ONE else cares if I do extra weight besides me, no one cares if you do extra burpees in the back or push through an extra strength WOD, NO ONE should care... except you. Hold yourself to a higher standard, be your own encouragement, but don't be too hard on yourself when you mess up... find that balance and really make yourself happy (and if that involves a beer or a bowl of pasta every once in a while, enjoy)!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 16: Trying to Negotiate the Good and the Bad

Well guys I realize it's been a full 8 days since I've written anything as I'm feeling pretty conflicted. I again want to share some positives and negatives that I'm hoping will explain my absence (again, these will be categorized because my Type A personality only allows me to make things with lists and bullet points in this blog - ha).

I'm going to start with the negatives because I've really been struggling with a few things. . .and I'm looking for feedback - so here goes

1. I don't really feel good eating this way.
I'm okay energy wise but when I get in the gym I find myself unable to muster the energy to really hit the workout the way I want to.

What's even more difficult for me to come to terms with is that I
a. don't know what is making me feel this way. . .could it be
         i. the small amount of carbs I'm eating (most days the majority of my carbs come from veggies as prescribed and many people I know eat this way so why am I reacting in this way)
        ii. general stress in my life (I have some big test results I've been waiting for)
        iii. this really weird lack of caring about my gym results. . .(okay - I'm being honest here). It's not like I don't care. . .let me take that back - it's more the idea that I feel in some weird, crazy way like I'll never be good at crossfit. I don't know why I feel that way - I know that I'm making gains in the gym but for some reason I've gotten it in my head that there are just so many things at crossfit I'm 'bad' at. Destructive and ridiculous - I KNOW. But again, I'm being honest

b. the other thing that is difficult for me to come terms with is that I wasn't eating dramatically different from this. So to feel this different is strange and odd.

2. So here I am - more than halfway through the challenge and wondering at the end what the impact will be. It's not all negative (positives will be detailed below in list format) but I'm wondering A LOT (and probably too much) if I'm going to stick with this. Why? How? In so many ways I'm wondering (like many aspects of my life) what I'm willing to sacrifice in order to have this ideal body I want (which is at least 15 lbs of body fat away).

Am I willing to give up coffee in my creamer? And why do I look at it like 'giving up' something, rather than gaining this ideal body I want.

I think part of me realizes now, in order to get to that dream body I will have to push harder and do things I really (at this point) don't know if I want to do.

Okay, so enough negatives - at least you all know what I'm struggling with. . .and although I know so many of you will read this and think that I'm not thinking rationally, this is just me and my struggles, irrational and all =)

1. I have the willpower of an ox
     a. I haven't cheated once. NOT ONCE. Not one sip of alcohol, dark chocolate, NOTHING. I am AMAZED. I have gone to football games, parades, festivals, block parties, and watched other people eat fried foods and funnel cakes and have munched on my coconut and deli meat (hormone free and minimally processed of course -
      b. Have I mentioned I haven't cheated once =)

2. I am a COOKING MACHINE.AND I'm a cooking machine on the budget of a graduate student. Not only do I have more spices in my cabinet than I have ever had in my adult life, I realized I enjoy cooking and get REALLY excited when I can copy a recipe. . .and speaking of. . DRUM ROLL PLEASE

I have PERFECTED the flax seed cracker recipe from R. Thomas. (PLEASE go eat there if you haven't). If you're eating Paleo the last time you had a cracker was. . .. .a LONG time ago so I hope you enjoy it. I have named these

Jasmine's Cracker Delight 

This is an AWESOME snack option. OBVIOUSLY serve with guacamole

-either whole flax seeds or ground (I buy them whole because they are cheaper and grind them in my coffee grinder - you could do the same in a food processor)
-egg whites
-oil (I used coconut - you can use olive oil)
-some sort of seasoning (I used garlic salt - but if you don't like this, use whatever type of seasoning you like)
-sea salt

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees
1. Grind up 3/4 cup of flax seeds into a meal and pour into a bowl
2. Add 3-4 egg whites. . .this varies depending on the size of your eggs, etc. You want to create a dough type mixture that is MOIST but not gooey. If it's too gooey add more of the flax seed meal.
3. Add two spoonfuls of coconut oil
4. Add your seasonings. The way I did this is to add seasoning and mix until I could smell the seasoning from the bowl. This is KEY. Remember - flax seeds by themselves are pretty disgusting so you want your cracker to taste like the seasoning you use. I used a BUNCH of garlic salt and a pinch of sea salt.
5. Drop your moist but not gooey mixture (again, the mixture should not be able to pour out of the bowl) onto parchment paper. Than roll it out by placing another piece of parchment paper on top and rolling it (I didn't have a roller so I used a large vase)
6. This is another KEY step in this recipe. You have to roll this out thin - like PAPER thin. Like it could even have 'holes' in the dough when it's rolled out. If it is not thin it will cook and taste like thick flax seed. . .again, disgusting (trust me - this is my third time making this)
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes (varies depending on your oven but timing doesn't really matter)
8. When you take them out they should be really crisp and break easily (if they don't it means you made them too thick)
9. Let them cool for a few minutes and DEVOUR

So bye for now - hope this wasn't debbie downer blog post as I don't intend for it to be. Just wanted to share and get feedback. How are you all doing? Where's everyone's head at?

HUGS through the INTERWEBS =) (I can't, I really can't stop myself)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 8: Week 1: The Good, The Bad and the Scary =)

Well ladies and gentleman of the inter-webs (I told you I'd be using that word more frequently - ha!) we find ourselves at the end of week 1 and here are my observations. (please excuse the list type format I am extreme Type A personality so making lists make me feel calm) =)

The Good
I'm down 5.6 pounds - I don't know how, I don't know why and I'm certainly not going to question it. BUT as I have told everyone I can speak to the scale is NOT the answer.

(Let me repeat that primarily for Kristen) THE SCALE IS NOT THE ANSWER

Body fat % is, plain and simple. We have all heard of the skinny fat and those types of observations but regardless of how 'thin' you look you can still be in poor health and I'm sure we all know people who are 'tiny' by all standards and can't run a mile.

So on November 3rd a few of us are getting our body fat tested post challenge. Again, because I have simple short term goals, my body fat test result goals are simple. All I want in life is for the body fat tester man to never again say to me I have good news and bad news. I mean NEVER.

The Good and  Little Bit of Scary
I have EXTREME clarity about my sick sick relationship with food. As I've mentioned before, and I think is for most women we take our relationship with food from when we were younger. I know for me I have dieted for most of my life, and EVEN when I was so super thin in middle and high school I was dieting. It's not normal, it's not healthy BUT I think that whole back and forth relationship with food is what makes me feel in so many ways like throwing myself a pity party for doing 'everything right' and not seeing the results I want .

(please reference Day 6's blog where I actually get honest about the truth of the matter that I'm not REALLY doing everything right - and who really is? and again, why do I care what everyone else is doing? This is about me AND my health. I'm the one who wants to live to 116 so I can sit in a rocking chair on my porch and yell at people, and no one can say anything because I'm old! )

The Bad and Potentially Good
 I love coffee. Let me restate this to be clear, I love coffee with creamer - I still miss creamer. Every day. It is the first thing I think about when waking up (reference above, sick relationship with food - ha!). I love coffee with creamer in a way that is likely not normal or healthy - in fact, I used to think that when I got to heaven I would be surrounded by tator tots, but now I think that in heaven there will be a Starbucks - that's right, I said it, Starbucks in heaven =)

So every morning I wake up and get a little sad thinking about black tea. However, I am praying that Macy's can save the day with an espresso maker that is $9.99 - I KNOW - I KNOW! I'm going today, trust me =) Thanks to Veronica and Raul for the suggestion! (Yet, another reason to go to Crossfit Peachtree - other members can solve your life's probems - lol)

The Bad and Scary
 Sadly, I am a little frightened to eat out. I know this sounds crazy. But in my graduate school bubble I am pretty much able to eat my breakfast at home, 1st and 2nd lunch at school in my cubicle and dinner at home. I don't really want to experiment with eating out yet (again, yes - I realize this is crazy)

The Goal
 I still want to lift cars, maintain pretty and go on Oprah =)

So world - what lessons have you learned in this week? What's your good, bad and scary? Anything you've realized about yourself and your relationship with food? Anything you've been SO proud of yourself for?

THANKS also for the comments - I now know that there are SO many of us that are going through all the same things. Who would have thought?!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5: 80/20 rule and my Goal for the nutrition contest

Mother Master of Crossfit Peachtree told us that as part of this nutrition challenge we had to have a non-crossfit related goal. Hmmmm - I've been thinking about this for a while (primarily because as a graduate student - we think ALL DAY. . .we can't turn it off - I think when I sleep - it's amazing! You should try it sometime) =) But I've been trying for a while to decide what my goal was. . .I don't do well with short term goals, I like to think big picture and other than writing a dissertation, being on Oprah or Tyra and lifting cars I don't really have anything else on the horizon I want to achieve. 

But I've been thinking about my weird CRAZY jacked up relationship that I've had with food, my body, my thoughts about my body, food, food, and food since I was in highschool and I wondered if 30 days of doing something completely good for my body would help me gain perspective on this.

I was also inspired to write this by a very pretty girl at Crossfit Peachtree who won the last nutrition challenge =) She mentioned that she follows an 80/20 rule with Paleo. . .and I do as well. . . Most of the time . .well sort of.  See as I started to think about my results these past few days, how I feel, how my muffin top is starting to disappear (and watching other people at the gym who in 5 days seem to also be shrinking) I started to think about whether that 80% was actually happening. 

And when I think about it and am 100% honest with myself I'm not REALLY following Paleo 80% of the time.  I'm having cream in my coffee, drinking diet coke every day, and eating a Greek Yogurt, among other things. So I know what your thinking (it's the same thing I think) - SO WHAT! 

That's what I thought (pre nutrition challenge too). . .Greek Yogurt isn't bad, and diet coke has no calories. . .that can NOT be the reason I'm not seeing the results I wanted. That's what I basically have been telling myself - that those things are okay BECAUSE. . .because I work hard in the gym, I work hard at school, I am more strict with my eating than 94% of the people I know in the world, etc, etc, etc.

BUT I'm starting to realize that the results I'm getting are exactly reflective of how I'm eating. I'm basically (if I REALLY think about it) only eating Paleo 50-60% of the time, which is the type of weight loss results I'm seeing. And that's just NOT ME! I don't give 50% in any aspect of my life - work, school, etc. If I only gave 50% in the gym everyone would yell at me =) So why is it that in this one area of my life I'm only giving 50%? 

I don't know ladies and gentleman of the interwebs (hahaha interwebs - I'd like to use that word once a day!)- I think it has something to do with the fact that I've been throwing myself a pity party for not being able to get these last 15/20 pounds off. . . why me? why do I have to be so strict? why do I have to eat 1/2 apple while I watch other seemingly thin, healthy people eat sandwiches?

But even more importantly - why the HELL do I care? When am I going to stop comparing myself and my body to other people and just STOP?! I want to peeps - I REALLY do. . .and I'm hoping this nutrition challenge will give me that perspective. 

So after all of that blabbering I'm here to state my goal: I'd like to be more honest with myself about my results or lack thereof and how they are directly reflective of the commitment/or lack thereof to eating the way I know my body needs it.

Basically my goal is to put up or shut up. I can NOT complain anymore about not seeing certain results when I don't fully commit to what I know I need to do. . .

So peeps - how much are you committing to what you put in your mouth versus what you do at the gym? =) And what are you going to do to change that?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 4: Support Systems for Your New 'Lifestyle' and my plea for an espresso maker

Before I talk about support systems and all of that touchy feely stuff I must ask someone for an espresso maker. Thanks - I had espresso today and it's DELICIOUS. Why haven't I been drinking espresso all along and why don't I have one in my house. So here's my deal. If you buy me an espresso maker when I am on Tyra or Oprah I will mention the lasting impact you have had on my life and. . .cry, as I talk about you - which I think is a fair exchange. =)

Anyway, the point of this blog is really my pitch for Crossfit. I went back and forth about writing this blog because those of you that know me have heard me talk about it and those of you who go to Crossfit already know these things. However, I had to write because I think after I explain this it will explain WHY I'm doing this nutrition challenge and most importantly how I think I'm going to stay strict for 30 days.

Before I went to Crossfit Peachtree I had lost the majority of my weight on Weight Watchers and at gym's (my most recent being LA Fitness in Buckhead). I was running a LOT - like LOTS of miles every day. . .and than would do weights and abs. Most days I would spend over 2 hours in the gym - slaving away - feeling bad about myself as I ran my 5.0 for an hour and the girl next to me ran at 7.8. Than I would go over to the weight machines and do them and just feel even worse because it was SILENT. No one talks to you - no one smiles at you or asks you how you're doing. After 3 years of doing everything by myself I was getting FRUSTRATED. My weight wasn't moving at ALL, in fact it was going back up and I felt just to maintain my weight having to run over 25 miles a week seemed stupid. 

Also, I didn't really feel like I had anyone who understood my goals, my struggles, my past. . .when you don't have people who support and participate in your lifestyle choices (eating healthy, working out 5+ times a week, etc.) it's hard to a even find someone to talk about it who gets it.

So enter Crossfit Peachtree. And dare I say - for me, it has been life changing (btw Tyra or Oprah if you'd like me to be on your show about Crossfit I'd be honored). 

First, I know about 80% of the people in my gym, by name and they know me. They ALWAYS encourage me during a workout, are willing to sit and talk with me about whatever - what we ate this weekend, what we didn't eat, what we wanted to eat, etc. =) We trade recipes - we commiserate about watching people eat things we don't =) But most importantly every single person is supportive of each individual. Despite popular belief there are a WIDE range of folks in the gym, and ANYONE can do it. I appreciate that. I appreciate that no one expects me to be the fastest or best, but will encourage me as I try. . .try to lift cars that is =)

Anyway, my point is. There is NO WAY possible I would make it through this challenge without the support of a large community of people at my gym. Can you imagine doing 30 days of strict anything without having a support system? Not possible. . .So anyway - whatever you're doing or have been doing I can promise you it will work a lot better if you try a Crossfit near you.

So that's my blog post - try crossfit. . .just do it. . just go in one day and try it. 

PS - In one year I've put 7 1/2 lbs of lean muscle on my body. . .was that ever going to happen at LA Fitness? hahahaha - NO =)

On another note  I have introduced two ladies at my gym to spaghetti squash and as I predicted it is LIFE ALTERING. . .I'm not sure who you are and why you haven't tried spaghetti squash but you need to get it together. 

Here's an EASY way to cook it. 

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds. . .drizzle olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper over the squash. Season well. Bake it in the oven at 350 for about 45-50 minutes. 
Make some meat sauce and call it a day. ..

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 2: Am I really drinking tea today? and. . .things you never wanna hear the guy doing your body fat say

So today was a full day. . I got up and didn't want to experience the nastiness that is black coffee so decided to drink some black tea instead. This is a HUGE step for me people - HUGE. I feel like tea is for people who do yoga and want to breathe all day - which I don't want to do. . .I feel like coffee is for Type A people who have lots of post it notes and put appointments in multiple places, and like to stay in a heightened state of anxiety (which is what I like to do), but I broke with tradition and had some tea. And SURPRISE - it wasn't disgusting. Black tea is okay. . .I'm not saying that I haven't been thinking about a tall sf latte from starbucks ALL DAY. . .however, the black tea is okay. I considered the morning a SUCCESS!

Anyway, after my tea experience I went to CFPT where I'm beginning  to incorporate some workouts that will help me get stronger (I hope). So twice a week I'm going to do a workout from Rob Orlando's website in addition to the main CF wod's. . .

I have a personal goal of lifting a car someday and I'm hoping his workouts will help me get there =) Yes, I said lifting a car. . .I mean wouldn't it be so super bad ass to go to parties and just lift cars - I'm just saying! Obviously, if I can lift cars and still maintain a little pretty Tyra and Oprah WILL be calling. . .

Anyway I did an amended wod from his page and then one of my CF friends and I drove out to Smyrna to get our body fat tested with Bali in his 'tank o' lies'. If you're interested in hearing someone lie to you, you should go =) After I was done, he tells me "I have some good news and some bad news". . .just not what you want someone to be saying who's just seen your fat ass in a swimsuit be submerged in water. . .

Bad news was I've gained about 3 lbs of body fat since MAY - EEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKk. . .I definitely feel this is due to my cheat meals being a little too frequent and the fact that my knee injury has slowed me down from doing any sort of running

Good news was I gained about 4 lbs. of muscle since MAY. . .

So here's how I see it - I obviously need to reign my Mexican fiesta nights in, because I'm having too much fun! And I need to incorporate some running like cardio back into my life until my knee is rehabbed. . .

Yet, the biggest gift of all is that I've come to a place where hearing that I've gained 3 lbs. doesn't make me want to jump off of the top of my apartment building (which coincidentally is only two stories so I'd probably just break a lot of bones). But I've come to terms with how slow of a process this is going to be and feeling good about all of the things I'm doing right.

So if you're drudging away at LA Fitness (like I was) - comparing yourself to everyone that walks by and feeling less than because of it. . .I'd say find yourself a gym where no matter what you and your goals are supported =)

On that note - I'm going to finish the amazing paleo jerk chicken I made courtesy of Crossfit Verve in Denver

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 1: Strict Zone/Paleo

So I'm not going to start off by explaining what Paleo or Zone/Paleo is - there are a ton of resources online. Instead I'm going right into why I'm doing this (primarily why I'm doing zone/paleo instead of paleo).

1. I lost the majority of my weight doing weight watchers (see about me section) so I like counting and it doesn't bother me

2. I do not do well with uncontrolled portions of food because as I have found out in my Paleo experiments the last few weeks I will consume lara bars, nuts and those sorts of tasty things way before I would pick up a chicken breast =)

3. There is a nutrition contest at my gym (the BEST GYM EVER) and the only way to win is to have a noticeable difference in before/after photo's. . .and everyone buys in so there's a pot of money to win and Mama needs a scooter. . .so there you have it

Today is Day 1 - I plan to use this blog really as an accountability system for myself but maybe also as some motivation for my gym family to stay on course. . .and maybe even for those of you out in the world who are considering eating this way. I also plan to use this to document the emotional journey that withdrawing from diet coke and the crack/cocaine that is obviously inside of it. Additionally, if this blog gets me on Oprah or Tyra I won't be mad about that either. . . .yes, I said it - Oprah or Tyra!

Just for a brief background - I've dabbled with Zone Paleo before but never found the right # of blocks to make me not want to kill people or cry at the gym (yes, that's right - cry). . .so I went back to Paleo but found that I just was eating too much of the good stuff to frequently. I also have NEVER given up diet coke. .

Okay so here's what happened so far today

Woke up and prepared myself to have breakfast which includes black coffee (I'm in graduate school and not giving up coffee). . it was ultimately DISGUSTING. . .I tried to put coconut milk in it and it became this weird oily mix of nastiness - but guess what I drank it anyway. I've met myself without coffee and it's not nice, in fact it's mean

Then I got excited because I went to the Dekalb International Farmers Market - I haven't been in about a YEAR and when I checked out realized how dumb it was  ( I got FOUR bags of groceries and it was $60.00 bucks - $60. . .

So here are some of the goodies I plan to make this week

1. flax seed crackers with guacamole - I think a great way to get fat in and I had them at R. Thomas before and they are DELICIOUS
2. spaghetti squash with meat sauce - I love spaghetti squash. . .like whenever I get spaghetti squash I overeat it just because I can. . .it is SUPER low carb and great!
3. paleo jerk chicken
4. a large salad with a cut up pear, some walnuts, avocado with olive oil drizzled on top (had some of this for lunch and it was FANTASTIC)
5. mexican lettuce wraps - basically making the meat filling and adding salsa and stuff and wrapping it in lettuce

I'm excited. . .and love spending practically no money for so much food.

PS - Thanks to B for this challenge. I'm a year into crossfit and this is the first one I've had the courage to sign up for
PPS - Sorry in advance Jeff, I have a feeling I will be having diet coke withdrawals in your presence